A new show for Bluefaced Leicesters at Skipton Auction Mart to cater for the demands of commercial sheep breeders saw the first championship awarded to Stephen Fawcett, of KA Fawcett & Sons, Dale Head Farm, Barden. (Wed, Jan 14)
Stephen Fawcett, left, with his Skipton Blue Faced Leicester champion and judge William Johnstone.
The Fawcetts’ home-bred gimmer hogg, by a Dale Head V8 ram, was the pick of the 54 entries for judge and well-known BFL breeder William Johnstone, of Yealland Redmayne, Carnforth, just getting the better of the first prize in-lamb ewe from Joe Throup, Draughton.
Ashley Caton, Otterburn, saw his second prize ewe lamb sell for the show-topping price of 160 guineas to Gordon Haynes, Mitton.
Over 1,950 store and breeding sheep passed through the Skipton ring, including 1,450 store hoggs, for which trade was particularly strong.
Suffolk store hoggs sold to a top of £67 (av £59.61) and Texels to £64.50 (£54.38). In the breeding sheep section, in-lamb Mule shearlings made up to £80 and in-lamb Mule ewes to £69.
Top price of the day was the 360 guineas paid for an in-lamb Texel shearling from Cumbrian vendor H Barrow, Wigton.
Jeremy Eaton, general manager at Skipton Auction Mart, looking at trading prospects in general, said: “Livestock farming is benefiting from the low value of sterling against the euro for the main export destinations for meat in Europe.
“This weakness of currency also makes the import of meat less attractive, which, together with fuel costs and tight supply, means that a good trade for UK farmers can be reasonably assured in the medium term.
“A period of relatively high primestock values will reflect in the confidence to pay higher for stock prices right down the line for farmers.”
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